Warning over US Voting Machines
As Election Day draws nigh, old voting-machine fears are rearing their ugly heads once more. Long story short, many believe these machines to still be as broken as they were in 2000 and 2004, and most testing confirms this fear. Of course, the machines' manufacturers deny these claims whilst jealously guarding their source code.
We're keeping an eye on this, since stories are appearing rather rapidly: Check out th estory below, as well as our Voting Issues Channel.
Long queues are likely at polling stations on 4 November, Pew researchers say, and both parties are hiring lawyers in anticipation of challenges.
Voters have already had long waits in some states where early voting is under way, like North Carolina and Florida.
It comes despite efforts to improve the system after problems in 2000 and 2004.
Nearly 10,000 electronic voting machines ready for use in New Jersey polling places in the upcoming presidential election are highly vulnerable to tampering, according to a Princeton University report made public Friday.
The 2008 election "has the potential to combine a record turnout with an insufficient number of poll workers and a voting system still in flux," the report by the non-partisan Pew group says.
At least three voters in Jackson County, West Virginia, complained that when they tried to cast a vote for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, the machine recorded a check in the box for Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
However, do the providers of this equipment want to get their stuff fixed before the big day? Surprisingly, they don't. In other words, your company's flagship product is getting rolled out on the world stage, and you know ahead of time that it doesn't work, but you don't want to fix it. Furthermore, you don't want anyone to even know it's broken.
No wonder people are shouting "conspiracy".
Potential headache: Of the 24 states using voting machines, eight reportedly have no requirement to stock emergency paper ballots in case of machine failures, and 10 states don't have proper procedures to make sure every vote is counted.